HARRISBURG — Less than one week after Pennsylvania’s governor failed for the second time since taking office to carry out a lawfully imposed death sentence, the House Judiciary Committee today in Harrisburg approved a resolution condemning his actions.
“The governor is failing to follow the law and failed to administer justice,” said state Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery), who introduced the resolution approved by the House Judiciary Committee. “The governor seems to want to do everyone’s job but his own. If he wanted to change the death penalty law, he should have tried to become a legislator. If he wanted to judge the death penalty law, there are three Pennsylvania Supreme Court openings this year. He ran to become the top executive, but he’s failing to execute these death sentences and the violent criminals who killed innocent Pennsylvanians.”
“A lot of people – lawyers, judges and juries – play roles in a death penalty case,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin). “The governor’s refusal to carry out these sentences shows a lack of respect for our justice system.”
Hubert Michael, who was convicted of raping and killing 16-year-old Trista Eng in 1993, was scheduled to be executed on Friday, June 5. Michael has never contested his guilt or the judgement, and all appeals have been exhausted. The governor on Wednesday, June 3, issued a reprieve for Michael.
Eng’s family issued a public letter to the governor on Friday, telling him, “You stand in the way of thousands of victims who seek justice.” They asked him, “As a parent, would you fight for your daughter(s) if you were in our situation?”
“Those on death row are not good people, but they probably love this governor,” Vereb said. “We encourage him to value the justice deserved by victims and the decisions made by our legal system above his own desire to protect death-row criminals.”
The reprieve issued for Michael follows another one issued for convicted murderer Terrence Williams in March.
Vereb’s House Resolution 143
now heads to the full House for consideration.
Representative Mike Vereb
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing
RepVereb.com / Facebook.com/RepMikeVereb